A study will attempt to describe “A Day in the Life” of the web browser, using a set of instrumented Mozilla browsers. They will aparently make the data available to researchers. This is something we had considered for doing job search research. However, the >$2000 annual license is enough to scare folks away. They offer an educational discount, but at that price level, there is a significant incentive to do it yourself.

An instrumented browser seems like a good target for an open source project. I’m surprised no one has gone that way. There is clearly a need for standards for recording such data, and for freely available tools to conduct such research. It would be nice if someone who has already done it could be persuaded to release their software, though browsers have changed enough that it would probably have to be done from scratch. It’s not a huge deal, just need to add in a few lines of code that spits out log data to a file, but it would be nice to be able to avoid dealing with the monster code of Mozilla (though that may not be necessary).

I suppose that the easy alternative would be to use one of the many, many keyloggers out there, many of which also log browser use.

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